County Mayo’s Great Western Greenway is currently the top long-distance off-road cycling route in Ireland, but that looks set to change after this summer when the Waterford Greenway opens.
Waterford City and County Council is currently developing its 45km greenway on the alignment of the disused railway line from Dungarvan to Waterford.
The route will have a hard surface all the way (although some sections will use tar and chip) and the construction including major works on bridges and underpasses. Unlike the Great Western Greenway, the old Waterford railway route remained in state ownership, so there are few detours from the railway alignment.
The route is a mix of costal and inland section — with stunning views, as above.
The Ballyvoile Bridge, shown above and below, was sandblasted and repainted by contractors.
While sections look finished, work is still on-going in many sections, so the current August deadline will mean a lot of long days of work ahead.
Bridges and underpasses are used at intersections with many roads — work on the above has just started, where a new road dug into the railway and there was never a bridge.
The remains of old railway infrastructure such as the Durrow/Stradbally signal box, above, can be found along the route.
Some sections are already paved but not officially open, as above, so the council warn users they are using it at their own risk.
The tunnel shown above is now tarred, and lights are to be installed.
The greenway will run alongside the Waterford & Suir Valley Heritage Railway Ireland.
Click the above image for an interactive map.